There’s Power In A Praying Mama PLUS Back-to-School Prayer Challenge
It is unknown who said, “As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in school.” One thing I do know for sure, having been a high school math teacher, is those are some of the truest words I’ve ever heard!
What I also know to be true is that it has seemed to be under attack at least as long as I was a child in school. In fact, the first court case about it (Engel v. Vitale in 1962) never even said there couldn’t be prayer in school at all. Only that schools can’t sponsor prayer.
As our students head back to school, we should keep in mind that our students have the right to pray in school (especially during that upcoming math test). I think we, as mothers, have the right – or rather, the responsibility – to pray for our students.
Recommended Reading: Why I’m Raising Dependent Kids
Circle Your Students in Prayer
The last year I taught in the public school system before Munchkin was born was a tough year. I always took pride in connecting with students on their level but I had a large percentage that I just couldn’t. Two boys, identical twins, in fact, were the two toughest. They were in the same class along with a high percentage of students who were just bent on disliking me.
As soon as the bell rang for their class to arrive, I could feel myself get anxious.
Every day, there was something.
I finally decided I would walk my classroom, touching every desk, praying for the students who would sit at those desks, in a similar way that Mark Batterson describes in his book, The Circle Maker. He walked the grounds of the land he felt would be the future home of his church.
The first day I ever did it, that difficult class was great. If I remember correctly, the brothers weren’t there. I praised God for the break that day. Not just for myself but for the small percentage of students who wanted to learn without distraction.
The Summer When I Started Praying for the School Year
Because I wasn’t teaching anymore, we decided to go ahead and put Bug and Bubba in the school district where we lived. Up until then, they just went to school in the district where I taught.
It was a summer I’ll never forget. Neither one of the kids was excited, particularly Bug. I tried my hardest to be realistic and encouraging when talking about it. I was nervous. This was going to be her last year in elementary school. She had spent all of her years of school at the same place.
I was so worried.
All I could do though was pray.
It didn’t start intentionally at first. Every time I passed by the street where the new school was, I prayed. Something simple.
Lord, please make this a good year for them. Give them the teachers they need. The ones that suit their learning style. I pray it’s a good transition. Please make it smooth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
That was it. Nothing fancy. I don’t think I even added any scripture.
It wasn’t an eloquent prayer.
It was just a plea from the heart of a mama to her Heavenly Father.
The Power of Prayers
Your prayers are so powerful, Mama. And don’t ever quit praying just because they haven’t happened yet.
We often do not receive when we ask because our motives are to spend what we get for our own pleasure (James 4:3). You can have confidence that, when you pray according to the will of our Father, He will hear you (1 John 5:14). Ask anything in Jesus’ name then and he will give it to you so that his Father – our Father – may be glorified through it (John 14:33).
Don’t doubt that it can happen though. You are seeking out our Heavenly Father – the Creator of the Universe. He is the One whose power raised Jesus from the grave. It is the same power that lies in you through the Holy Spirit.
Recommended Reading: Why You Need Louie Giglio’s Indescribable
Encouragement and Steps for Mamas Praying About School
I can’t possibly encourage you any better about this than through Philippians 4:6 – 9 (NIV).
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Let’s break that down into some practical and easy-to-follow steps.
(1) Exhale. Do not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6).
(2) Pray about all of it. In every situation, present your requests to God (by prayer, in your need and with a thankful heart (Philippians 4:6).
(3) Exhale…again. You’re holding your breath, Mama. And even though we can’t possibly understand it, God’s peace will “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
(4) Change your self-talk. It is so easy to get anxious (don’t do it!) and let the enemy plant a single thought that leads us into a downward spiral. Do your thoughts fall into any of these categories? If not, change the narrative.
- Whatever is true
- Whatever is noble
- Whatever is right
- Whatever is pure
- Whatever is lovely
- Whatever is admirable
- Anything that is excellent or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8)
(5) Put it into Practice. Everything you have “learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me” (Philippians 4:9). Stay in God’s word. Don’t just read as a checkbox. Study it, meditate on it, and put it into practice.
(6) Exhale…one more time. Do all these things and “the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).
What Happened After the Summer I Circled My Kids in Prayer?
That school year after I prayed was incredible. It was the best school year that Bug has had to date. She got straight A’s but more importantly than that, she took so much pride in her work and saw what she was capable of. She can look back at that year with fondness at the teacher who loved and believed in her. Still, one of the top three teachers she has ever had.
Bubba got services that he needed as a high-achieving-but-not-labeled-gifted kid that he didn’t get before because he had teachers who took initiative when they saw his giftings.
I hate to say that I was amazed. But I was. I struggle with believing that God will. I know He can but I doubt He will. My own failings that I need to work through.
He is always faithful though. And I look back at that summer knowing that my prayers have power. And when I doubt that He will, I will go back to that summer as one of the many times my loving, Heavenly Father unleashed the power within me. The same power that raised Jesus from the grave.
Back-to-School Email Prayer Challenge
And that’s where we come to the Back-to-School Prayer Challenge. For seven days, we are going to pray as a community of Powerful Prayer Warrior Mamas for the next school year – from the top down for everyone who is involved in the education of our students. From people in charge of legislation and policies (federal, state, and local), to the people who have direct contact with our students, and then for ourselves (because Lord knows we need it desperately, too) and finally our students.
Won’t you join me?
We start August 1st and would love to have you join the community.
Whether you decide to join in on the challenge or not, I’d love to pray for you. You can do the challenge anytime! You don’t have to wait until next school year if it is already after the first day of school.
I walked those desks within the last couple months of school. Your prayers are always powerful. Join the prayer challenge and unleash the power that lies within you.
What are you praying for this school year? And how can I join in with you?